[ Apocalyptic Speculation ] [ Primary Texts ] IHO Index ] [ Search ] Samaritan Theology  ]

Click on title of any pericope numbered in red to access the original language text.

285. Logos Above All
31 ...The Word of God [logos theou] is above all the world;
and it is the oldest and most typical [genikótatos] of what has been made.
  --- Philo, Allegorical Interpretation 3.175

286. The Word & the World
8 ...No material thing is strong enough to bear the burden of the world. But the everlasting Word [logos] of the eternal God is the firmest and surest support of the whole.
9 He stretches to reach from the middle to the edges and from the heights to the midst, uniting and binding all the parts with nature's unfailing course. For the Father who begot [gennésas] him made him the unbreakable bond of all.
  --- Philo, Noah's Work, 8-9

287. The Word as Image of God
24 If anyone wants to use plainer words, he would say that the world of the mind was the Word of God [logos theou] already making a world. For a city in the mind is nothing else than the reckoning [logismas] of the architect, already planning to build the city.
25 This is Moses' doctrine, not mine. Indeed, in the next passage, recording the beginning of man, he confesses that (the human) was modeled after the image of God. Now if the part is the image of an image, it is clear that the whole is too. But if the entire sensible world -- which is greater than the human -- is a copy of the divine image, it is clear also that the archetypal seal which we say is the world of the mind is the the very Word [logos] of God.
  --- Philo, Creation 24-25

288. The Father's House
3 ...Now the Word is our "father's house"; (father), because the mind is our "father," sowing into each of our parts its own powers and distributing their works, while remaining himself in charge and in control of all. And the Word is the "house" in which (the mind) lives, removed from the rest of the household. The Word is the mind's house, just as the hearth is man's.
4 ...And do not marvel if (Moses) has called the Word the mind's house in man. For he even says that God, the Mind of the whole (world), has the Word as his own "house"... (Gen 28:17).
  --- Philo, Migration, 3-4

289. The Human Soul & the Word of God
139 Now it is evident also that the soul was the best. For we know that to make it (God) used none of the patterns in creation other than his own Word alone, as I have said. Thus, he says man was made its likeness and copy; it was breathed into his face -- the locus of the sense by which the Creator [demiourgos] gave life to the body... Now the copy of a very beautiful pattern must be very beautiful. But better than even this beauty is the Word of God, which is beautiful by nature, not formed [kosmoumenos] by beauty but -- to tell the truth -- (being) itself beauty's finest form [kosmos].
  --- Philo, Creation 139

290. Light & Logos
31 Now the unseen and mental light was made an image of the Word of God interpreting its origin. And it is the star beyond the heavens, the source of the sensible stars...
  --- Philo, Creation 31a

291. The Light & The Truth
45 And so "the hands of Moses are heavy" (Exod 17:12).
For, whereas the deeds of the simpleton are light and windy, those of the sage will be weighty and immovable and not easily shaken, because they are supported by Aaron -- (i.e.), the Word [logos] -- and Hor -- i.e., the Light.* But there is no matter more clearly "Light" than Truth. Therefore, he wants to show you through symbols that the deeds of the sages are supported by the most basic things: the Word and Truth. And so when Aaron comes to an end -- that is, when he is perfected -- he goes up into Hor, i.e., the Light. For the end of the Word [logos] is Truth, which outshines light. To this the Word is eager to go.
  --- Philo, Allegorical Interpretation 3.45
* "Hor, the Light": An interpretation based on bilingual word play. The Hebrew Horeb (Mt. Hor) becomes 'or in the Greek version of the Torah from which Philo is working, because Greek lacks an aspirate consonant. But 'or in Hebrew means "light."

292. Darkness Banished
7 In the simpleton, the true view [doxa] about God is obscured and hidden, for he is full of darkness and has no divine enlightenment to consider what is. Such a one is banished from the divine company, like a leper and someone with a seminal flow.
The one (holds) God and becoming (to be) opposing natures: there being two complexions, he refers to these as causes, (only) one being the cause of action. But the other (holds) everything (to be) a seminal flow from the world; and he tracks it back to the world, thinking that nothing has been made by God. He associates with Heraclitus' view: "full and empty, all is one, and all things lead into each other.
8 Therefore, the divine Word said:
-- "Let them send out of the holy soul* every leper and everyone with a seminal flow and everyone who is unclean in soul, both male and female" (Num 5:2).
  --- Philo, Allegorical Interpretation 3.7-8
* "holy soul": Hebrew Bible has "camp."

293. God's Offspring
31 Now God is the Creator of time [chronos]. For he is also its father's Father -- time's father (being) the world [kosmos] -- and made the latter's motion produce the former. Thus, time holds the position of grandson of God. For this world -- that which is sensed -- is the younger son of God. For the elder -- that (world) of the mind -- he thought worthy of the privilege of staying with him.
  --- Philo, Unchangeableness 31

294. Time and Eternity
121 For there are those on whom life [bios] shines for a time [kairos] who no longer remember the Eternal, thinking instead that the Time is God.
122 And Moses bears witness to this by urging (us) to fight against opposing views. For he says:
-- "The time has left them and the Lord is among us" (Num 14:9c).
For the divine Word dwells and walks among those who honor the life of the soul. But those who honor the life of pleasure have an ephemeral "good time," wrongly so-called.
  --- Philo, Cain's Exile 121-122

295. Buried Treasure
91 But many times we meet with those things of which we have never dreamed. For example, they tell a certain gardener who, digging a plot to plant some fruit trees, came upon an unexpected treasure with more fortune than he had hoped for.
92 Thus, when (Jacob's) father asked him the source of his understanding -- "What is this you find so quickly, child?" -- the ascetic answered and said:
-- "What the Lord God delivered to me" (Gen 27:20).
For when God delivers (to us) the visions [theoémata] of his eternal Wisdom without labor and toil, we suddenly find them (to be) the treasure of perfect happiness we did not look for.
  --- Philo, Unchangeableness, 91-92

296. Wisdom Liberates
136 Now, it says, Rebecca went down to the spring to fill the water jug and (then) came up. For from where is a mind, thirsting for meaning [phronesis], likely to be filled but from the Wisdom of God, the spring that never fails? Descending to this, she ascends after awhile, akin to an eager disciple.
138 Therefore, on seeing that she has drawn understanding from Wisdom, the divine spring, the one who is eager to learn runs up and, encountering her, begs her to satisfy his thirst for learning. And she, having been taught the most important lesson, immediately -- unselfishly and generously -- holds out the stream of Wisdom and bids (him) drink deep, while calling him "lord" of the house. Now this is the most decisive (proof) that only the sage is a free man and ruler, even though he might have ten thousand masters of his body.
  --- Philo, Cain's Exile 136, 138

297. True Worship
20 Even if one experiences lustrations and purifications, he defiles his mind while he cleanses his body. Again, even if from abundant wealth he founded a temple and provided it with lavish endowment and expenditures, or (if) he makes offerings and does not cease to sacrifice young bulls or to decorate the shrine with costly votive offerings,...he still will not be inscribed with the pious.
21 For he has wandered from the way of piety. Thinking (religion) to be ritual instead of holiness, he offers gifts to him who cannot be flattered, who welcomes genuine service [therapeia] but hates the counterfeit. The genuine (worship) is when the soul brings plain Truth as its only sacrifice.
  --- Philo, Worse vs. Better 20-21

298. The Great Mysteries
71 For when the mind rises on high and is initiated into the mysteries [mystéria] of the Lord, it judges the body (to be) evil and hostile; but when it leaves off seeking divine things, it believes (it) its friend and comrade and brother...
100 Now there is a certain mind (which is) better purified and more perfect, having been initiated into the great mysteries. This one recognizes the Cause, not from what is made -- as (one recognizes) the substance from the shadow -- but transcending the reflection that is made, it gets a glimpse of the One who has not been made, thus perceiving both him and his shadow, as it were: the Word and this world.
  --- Philo, Allegorical Interpretation 3.71, 100

299. Initiation into Secrets
48 Take these things into your own hearts [psychés] as being sacred mysteries, you initiates who ears have been purified; and do not divulge them to any of the uninitiated. Rather, like stewards, keep the treasure with yourselves, not stored in with silver and gold -- corruptible substances -- but where there is the finest possession: acquaintance with the Cause and Virtue and, thirdly, the offspring of both...
49 Now I myself was initiated by Moses into the great mysteries. Nevertheless, when I see the prophet Jeremiah and recognize that he is not only a fellow-initiate but a fit religious instructor [hierophantes], I do not hesitate to go along with him.
  --- Philo, Cherubim 48-49

300. Three Measures of Flour
1 And the LORD appeared to (Abraham) by the oak of Mamre...
2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold three men stood in front of him...
6 And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah and said:
-- "Quick, prepare three measures of fine flour, knead it and make cakes!"
  --- Hebrew Bible, Genesis 18:1-6

301. Interpretation of the Three Measures
59 And so, going with all speed and eagerness, Abraham bid Sarah, Virtue, to hasten and knead three measure of meal and to make buried-cakes (Gen 18:6), when God was brought in by two of his highest powers, authority and goodness; the One being the middle of the three. (Abraham) produced figures [phantasias] for the soul to see. Each of these measure the whole, though they are in no way measured, for God and his powers are uncircumscribed. Thus, his Goodness is the measure of good things; Authority, the measure of subjects; and the Head [hegémon] himself, the (measure) of everything both corporeal and incorporeal...
60 It is good for these three measures to be kneaded and blended in the soul, so that it might receive the stamp of his authority and benevolence, being convinced that there is a God above all, one who transcends his own powers, who is even seen without them and who is revealed in them.
When the soul becomes an initiate of the rites of the perfect, she will undertake to divulge the mysteries to no one. But she will store them and keep them secret in silence. For it is written: "to make buried cakes" because the sacred Word about the One who is not made and his powers must be buried, since not everyone is able to keep the trust of the divine celebrations [orgias].
  --- Philo, Sacrifices 59-60

302. Bread from Heaven
162 The sacred Word bears abundant witness that the food of the soul is not earthly but heavenly:
-- "See, I rain on you bread of heaven, and the people should go out and gather the daily (portion) for a day, that I may test whether they will follow my law or not" (Exod 16:4).
You see? The soul is fed not by earthly and corruptible things but by words which God might shower from the high and pure Nature which has been called "Heaven"...
166 ...Therefore, let the soul gather the daily (portion) for the day, so that it may declare the bountiful God, not itself, (to be) the guardian of good things...
169 -- "And Moses said to them:
--' This (is) the bread which the Lord has given us to eat;
this is the word
[rhéma] which the Lord ordains" (Exod 16:15b-16a).
You see what kind of food is for the soul? The continuous Word of God [logos theou] which, like dew, encircles all and leaves no portion without a share of itself.
  --- Philo, Allegorical Interpretation 3.162, 166, 169

303. The World's Shepherd
50 ..."The Lord shepherds me and nothing shall I lack" (Ps 23:1).
51 It is fitting for everyone who loves God to practice this song; but even more for the world (to do) so. For earth and water, air and fire, and all the plants and animals therein -- whether mortal or divine --, yes, even the physical heaven, the orbits of the sun and the moon and the revolving of the other stars, are like some flock, which God -- the Shepherd and King -- leads in procession in accordance with law and right. In the lead is his true Word and first-born Son, who takes charge of this sacred band, like some lieutenant of a great king. For somewhere it is said:
-- "Look, I AM [egó eimi],
I send a Messenger [angelos] before your face to keep you in the Way" (Exod 23:20).
  --- Philo, Husbandry 50-51

304. The Word as Intercessor
205 And the Father has given the Word, his eldest and chief messenger [angelos], the special privilege of standing at the border separating what has been made [to genomenon] from the Maker. On the one hand, he is ever before [pros] the Incorruptible (God) as intercessor for the perishing mortal and, on the other, (he is) the ambassador of the Head to the subject.
206 He rejoices in the privilege and magnifies it in detail by saying:
-- "I stood between the Lord and you" (Deut 5:5),
being neither unmade like God nor made like you, but midway between the extremes, a pledge to both; assuring the Producer that what he has made will never completely rebel and turn away, choosing disorder instead of order [kosmos]; and guaranteeing the product its hope that God will never forget his own work. For I am Ambassador of peace to creation from the God always known to purge wars by keeping peace.
  --- Philo, Who is Heir  205-206

305. Sons of Peace
41 And therefore, when they say:
-- "We are all sons of one man, we are peaceful" (Gen 42:11),
I marvel at their harmonious band. And then I would say:
-- "Why should you not hate war and love peace, noble (friends)? You have ascribed to one and the same Father -- not a mortal, but an immortal: a Man of God [anthrópos theou], who, being the Word of the Eternal, is of necessity also himself undying .
  --- Philo, Confusion  41

306. Whose Name is 'Rising'?
62 Indeed, I have also heard a saying like this uttered by an associate of Moses:
"See, a man whose name is Rising" [anatole; Heb: "shoot"] (Zech 6:12).
This is a very strange title if you think that it tells of one composed of body and soul. But if it (refers to) that incorporeal one who is not different from the divine Image, you will confess that the name assigned to him, "Rising," is very exact.
63 For he is the eldest Son, whom the Father of all raised, who elsewhere is named the First-born. And indeed, having been begotten, he imitated the ways of the Father; and by looking at his archetypal patterns, he formed the ideas.
  --- Philo, Confusion  62-63

307. Names of the Son
145 Now those who live in acquaintance with the One are fittingly called "sons of God," just as Moses himself confesses, when he says:
-- "You are the sons of the Lord God" (Deut 14:1) and
-- "God who begot you" (Deut 32:18) and
-- "Is he not your Father?" (Deut 32:6).
Indeed, it follows that the only worthy thing [kalos] with those whose soul is thus disposed is to practice good. This is the way for experienced fighting men to counter-attack the end, Pleasure, (and) to upset and destroy it.
146 And if there is anyone who indeed is not yet worthy to be called a son of God, let him strive to be ordered [kosmeisthai] in relation to (God's) First-born and eldest of messengers [angelón], the Word: that is the multi-named pre-existent Archangel. For he is also called "Beginning" [arché] and "Name of God" and "Word" and the "Man after his Image" and "the Seer": Israel.
  --- Philo, Confusion  145-146

[ Apocalyptic Speculation ] [ Primary Texts ] IHO Index ] [ Search ] Samaritan Theology  ]


Perspective on the World of Jesus

with new translations from primary texts

Copyright © 1999-2022 by Mahlon H. Smith
All rights reserved.

an American Theological Library Association Selected Religion Website 
OCLC World catalog no. 62046512

[Hypertext links to this web page are invited. Brief quotations may be used in scholarly reviews and research providing the author is credited & the URL for this web page properly noted. But the text as a whole may not be posted or reproduced elsewhere without express written permission of the author.]